Fil-Can View By Daniel Nolasco-Cajurao » Quo Vadis Motherland?

LACK POLITICAL WILL - While we respect the 16 Million Filipinos, some of them our kith and kin, and we don't begrudge them for that seemingly misled, if not hoodwinked decision for the existence of the present leadership in our motherland Philippines, yet we are wondering what significant factors that convinced them in pinning their hopes for change that was a mere perfunctory and superficial political promise deeply-rooted on hollow ground.

It's over a year since the last presidential elections but traffic in the metropolis, MRT breakdowns, worsening poverty and unemployment, plummeting economy vis-à-vis the scaling down of Gross Domestic Product and weakening of Philippine peso, unbridled graft and corruption in the bureaucracy, excruciating human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings, relentless devastation of the mountains caused by illegal logging and mining, small or large scale it maybe, and such other irksome foreign affairs-related issues, such as the incursion in West Philippines Sea, and the perennial Sabah claim, apparently remained not seriously attended to, if not ignored.

According to our vigilant "kababayan", traffic problem in Metro-Manila persists, and in fact had worsened compared to the previous years. Isn't this traffic problem promised during the campaign period to be eradicated within six months after elections? But it seems instead of focusing to get some solutions to this exasperating problem the present leadership is engrossed of passing the buck to the previous administration, like chicken with a cut off head.

Pension of SSS retirees were increased, thanks anyways. But contributions of its present members were also increased by almost twofold. Poor private employees, their take home pay certainly lessened significantly, to their consternation, while the officers and directors of this supposed social service-oriented agency have irresponsibly remained profligate in spending the members contributions, making it appear like milking cow.

Soldiers salary was increased, as provided by the AFP Modernization Law signed by the previous administration, but teachers, nurses, and government employees were denied of their lonely wail for livable and competitive wage amidst the spiralling cost of living which is attributed to the increasing prices of prime commodities. Ditto with the rank and file private workers, whose salaries remained pegged below poverty line as of press time. Thanks to the leading pro-workers labor unions, such as the PACIWU-ALU, for their decisiveness to push for the would-be wage adjustments soonest. Is there any government intervention to speed up its approval and implementation?

Due to this spiralling cost of living and the worsening of the economy, it is perceived that sooner or later more and more of our so-called "kababayans" will be immersed into the quagmire of poverty. "It's the economy stupid", as one economic observer say all about this seemingly downtrend in living while the country's debt climbing to a peak of P6.6Trillion. Perhaps the exodus of many of us in other countries, primarily to seek employment and ensure good future for our family, is a reason enough for the present administration to look into the lack of employment opportunities for all our graduates in the country. IT and Technician jobs aren't enough to be deemed solution of the perennial problem of unemployment. How about those teachers, nurses, engineers, manufacturing technicians, and other life science-based graduates? Even our law and medical graduates contend themselves working either in call centers or Chinese-owned malls. Aren't they too need decent jobs of their own in the country? But it seems this unemployment problem fell on deaf ears of the present government, as it appears that it doesn't have the plans and programs against joblessness, except a massive deployment of our "kababayans" to other countries where most of them, especially the women, suffer abuses in the hands of their foreign employers.

The recently enacted TRAIN Law has raised eyebrows and showed wrinkles of many of us. While the administration is drum beating of its tax exemptions provision, yet there's a suspicion of its long-term effect to the economy. It seems this TRAIN Law was passed hastily to make it appear the present administration is hell-bent on alleviating the economic well being of the common tao but undoubtedly there's kind of a sinister plot to cause the sufferings and agonies of the people. Trigonometrically the tax exemption is certainly inversely proportional to its ill effects to prices of basic commodities and services.

Except for the over verbalized anti-drug addiction campaign, otherwise known as "War on Drugs", which we see it as a mere "palabas" amidst the incompetence and ineptness of the government, not a show of decisive leadership is in sight to address those issues as of press time. What changes this "War on Drugs" have so far brought to the country? Killing 3,000 of the innocents, and depriving them of their human rights? To our mind, running after the throat of poor victims of drug addiction rather than against those drug syndicates, drug lords or "supremos" doesn't make anything good to the image of the country after all. Its nothing but an approach like trimming the tree of its branches but keeping the disease-causing tree to stand firm on the ground. Is the propensity of the present administration to kill the drug victims something that it can call an achievement in the "War on Drugs"? It seems it had created more troubles and more monsters out of the policemen, who are made instrumental of this seeming stupidity in the highest order. Is that the kind of change we crave for our country? What about that multi-billion-peso "shabu" shipment that entered freely through the doorsteps of the Bureau of Customs? What have been done so far to cause the culprit behind bars?

As it's apparently skirmishing to a nowhere direction in addressing these issues, we believe it's high time, and its not too late, for the present administration to flex its muscles and give enough time to workshop and strategize effective and efficient plans and programs that will eventually benefit our countrymen today and in the years ahead.

As of press time, there's seems uncertain vision is being put forward that will enable the country to usher a better way for all of us. Neither this present administration shows a speck of political will and sincerest steps to resolve those issues swiftly and in a spic-and-span manner.

Indeed, deep in my heart I can only ask with regret "Quo Vadis my dear Motherland?"*